Unfortunately, we are starting to hear of more and more layoffs. The tech sector has been hit particularly hard, while other areas of the economy have also been impacted by layoffs. Although it is never possible to be fully prepared to face the shock of being let go, you can take a few steps that may help you deal with the disappointment and land back on your feet a bit faster.
If you are worried that your role may be impacted by layoffs at some point in the future, consider taking the following steps now.
1) Track Your Work Accomplishments
Often it is easier to record your accomplishments while you are still on the job. You have access to databases, files, and emails that you may no longer have access to once you have been let go. Now is the time to start recording your specific accomplishments so you have the metrics you need when updating your resume. Each industry is different, so what you record will depend on your specific role. It might be a sales increase over a certain time period or a return on investment. Or maybe you have patented ideas that brought in a certain amount of revenue for your company. Alternatively, maybe you engineered a solution that resulted in significant cost savings. Whatever it is for you, track and record it now while you are still employed and have easy access to the information.
2) Update Your Resume
Once you have your accomplishments recorded, it is time to update your resume. If you have a resume ready before you are let go, it can take a lot of stress off of your shoulders. You can immediately start looking for roles that you would like to apply to, instead of having to take a few days or weeks to craft a resume first.
At Revision Resume, we recommend you update your resume annually, even if you aren't in the market for a new job. It is helpful to update it while your new skills and recent accomplishments are fresh in your mind. It also means you will have a resume ready as soon as you are in need of a new job.
3) Evaluate Your Social Media Presence
More than half of hiring managers and recruiters report that they look at the social media accounts of job seekers. Therefore, it is wise to evaluate your social media presence before starting a new job search, while you are still employed. First, make sure your social media provides an accurate and professional portrayal of you. Remove any content that might be viewed as questionable. This includes political or religious content that might be objectionable to a future employer.
Also, if you don't have LinkedIn, consider setting up an account. This is a powerful way to network professionally. When you find yourself in need of a job, it will be helpful to already have LinkedIn set up and numerous connections made.
If you do already have LinkedIn, now would be a good time to make updates. Make sure your current job is listed. Create a title that showcases your field and strengths. Include an "About" or "Summary" section that gives a view of who you are, and what makes you a strong employee. When the layoff does happen, you will easily be able to go into LinkedIn and change your profile to show you are "Open to Work," so recruiters and hiring managers can find you and reach out.
4) Get Networking
You may think you should wait to network until you are actually looking for a job, but we suggest you start now. If you are worried about layoffs coming, it is a good idea to dust off some of those relationships you made years ago, but haven't kept up with. Reach out and say "hi" to see how friends, family and former co-workers are doing. Then, later on, when you are looking for a new role, you can reach out again to see if they know of any job opportunities.
5) Recognize That Obtaining a New Role Takes Time
Unfortunately, many people find they can't obtain a new role within the time period of their severance package. It often takes months to be offered a new job, and unfortunately many severance packages provided to laid-off employees only last a few weeks.
If you are concerned you will be let go, you may want to start seeking new employment before the layoff actually occurs. This is also beneficial because it gets you out looking before others that might be competing with you for the same roles. For example, if your entire department is downsized, you may be competing with multiple people with the same skills and experience as yourself. If you start looking in advance, you are out ahead of the rest.
However, some employees want to hold on because if they aren't let go, they want to keep the job they have. In this case, looking for a new role now may not make sense until you are actually impacted by the layoff. It may be wise to try to beef up your savings, however. Cut any expenses that aren't necessary so you have a bit of a cushion, should you end up being let go unexpectedly.
While we hope you are not impacted by layoffs, we want you to be prepared so you can recover as quickly as possible. By undertaking the above steps, you will lessen the impact of the layoff and land a new job more quickly.
Need assistance updating your resume? Revision Resume is happy to help. To learn more, click here.